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Mighty Joe Young


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Product Description

Product Description

Blues with a touch of soul," is how the late Joe Young characterized his uniquely funky and powerful sound. This release, a compilation of classic tracks from two long out of print Ovation Records LP's, is issued here for the first time on CD and captures Joe's guitar artistry and vocal passion at the peak of his career. Features the song As The Years Go Passing By from the hit film, Ali.

About the Artist

One day in 1975, a blues guitarist/singer and veteran sideman on some of the most influential recordings in the history of Chicago blues walked into Streeterville Studio on East Grand Avenue to begin recording his second album for the Chicago-based Ovation label. Along with him was an excited and wide-eyed young man about to record his first album as a member of an international touring blues band. I was that youngster, and the man for whose session tape was about to roll was Mighty Joe Young. It was the beginning of a more than five-year association, one which covered hundreds of thousands of miles, a thousand nights of music, and uncountable lessons about the blues, professionalism, friendship, life, and love. You see, it was damned near impossible to be around Mighty Joe Young without being influenced by his gifts as a musician, as an entertainer, and perhaps most importantly, as a human being. Some people believe that a man's music reflects his character, and in the case of Joe Young, that parallel accounts for the high quality of both. Joe's tragic passing in 1999 from complications resulting from elective surgery did not just deprive his family, friends and fans of his unforgettable presence. It also deprived the new generation of blues musicians and listeners the opportunity to become acquainted with an artist who was a link between the glory days of Chicago blues and the contemporary blues scene. Even though Joe's woefully few recordings will continue to afford new listeners the chance to hear him, they unfortunately do not bear witness to the power of his live performances. Joe invested every single appearance with incredible presence and showmanship, reflecting his love for both his music and his audience. Whether he was playing for a huge festival crowd overseas or a handful of people at the tail end of a long club night in Cleveland, Joe delivered the goods, always wearing his gigantic contagious smile. Everybody left a Mighty Joe Young show satisfied and in high spirits. This compilation serves to make available again tracks from his two sessions for Ovation Records in 1974 and 1976, both of which were previously available only on vinyl and recently very difficult to find. The tracks herein are a fine representation of Mighty Joe Young's talents as a guitar player, singer, and songwriter. They demonstrate his affinity with the smooth contemporary blues of the day (As The Years Go Passing By), urban soul (Chickenheads), and the hybrid of sounds incorporated into his own songs. At the time these tracks were recorded, the trip from Chicago to Memphis to New Orleans to Detroit to London to Haight-Ashbury was but a short stroll down the pop charts. Fueled by the ever-elusive dream of writing that one song that would cross over the narrow channels separating pop music's markets, Joe drew on regional sounds from Motown (Green Light) to New Orleans (I Give, New Orleans Woman), as well as more specific influences from Bo Diddley (Take My Advice) to Freddie King (Need A Friend). While Joe had been a part of historic sessions with legends like Magic Sam and Otis Rush, he was never content to be a golden oldie. In all of his efforts, he showed that his mind and ears were wide open and he was able to take cues from a variety of sources and infuse them with his own unique musical sense. When asked by the uninitiated what kind of music he played, Joe had a stock response, which he always delivered with a proud smile: "blues with a touch of soul." He certainly did play the blues, and he absolutely did so with more than just a touch of soul. Listening to these tracks is a chance to either discover or rediscover the still relevant, still vibrant sound and heart of a beloved Chicago blues giant: Mighty Joe Young.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not his best 7 Oct. 2013
By Idle Vinyl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is quite typical Joe, which I bought having already gotten "Live at the Wise Fools Pub". This studio album, while enjoyable, lacks the raw vitality of Wise Fools which makes that album so much fun. Never having seen Joe live, I really wish I had. The Mighty Joe album bumps along, but is just a bit lower in intensity
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic collection 28 Feb. 2005
By Sam Mosley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Chicago bluesman Mighty Joe Young's discography is a mixed bag, some of his CD's are very good while others are inconsistent and uneven. This CD features songs from two long out of print albums he recorded in the 70s that were probably his best albums. Featuring mostly original material and good, contemporary production, these recordings showcase Mighty Joe at his best, doing his own brand of blues with a whole lot of soul thrown in. Try listening to "Chickenheads" without nodding your head, you won't be able to. For those who like deep blues, check out his cover the classic "As the Years Go Passing By", probably the bluesiest song on the CD.
Those who like traditional, straight ahead blues (Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf etc.) will want to pass on this collection, but those who like more soul flavored Chicago blues (Buster Benton, Jimmy Johnson) will definitely want this fine CD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the modern chicago blues. 13 Dec. 2011
By S. Vitse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
By the time (the 70's) Joe Young was recording his best lps - two for Ovation, one for Sonet -, the black audience was no longer interested with the blues, and the white audience was looking for more traditional singers. That's why such great records never reached the success they deserved. Nevertheless, the music is amazing - despite the awful cover picture - ; what you get here is some of the best blues-with-a-touch-of-soul that's never been recorded, with gorgeous songs, guitar playing, producing, musicians and (quadrophonic) sound.
Thank you Blind Pig Records for this beautiful cd ; but please, give us some more - there are 12 others songs Joe Young has recorded for Ovation, which are as great as these ones (Move on higher, Mighty man, Mama-in-law blues, ....).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last some of Mighty Joe Youngs best are on CD! 28 Jan. 2003
By J. Brandt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These recordings are getting close to 30 years old but sound modern and fresh. Mighty Joe Young was a wonderful blues guitar player who also had a very good voice. If you like any kind of blues you will not be disappointed in this CD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty Joe lays it down 7 Dec. 2014
By Ben B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
awesome album as the years go passing by personal favorite lot of great others nothing in my pocket but the bottom more than I can say for my shoe the man is a classic
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